National Geographic Channel’s “Mygrations” Pushes Limit of Reality TV

Ever since the hit reality television program Survivor first hit the airwaves in 2000, the genre of outdoor survival reality television has just exploded.

Many have paved the way such as Les Stroud and Bear Grylls. Then came Naked and Afraid and last year History Channel launched Alone, a series that challenges contestants to survive as long as they can in grizzly bear infested Vancouver Island. In both of these shows, rescue crews remain at least a half hour away, if not more in many cases, so it is entirely likely someone could lose their life on a television show.

But now comes a series from National Geographic Channel called Mygrations, which pushes the limit even further. In this challenge, 20 contestants must work together to walk 200 miles through the Serengeti in Africa amid the wildebeest migration. As one of the participants aptly put it, “This is not a safari. It’s a trespassing.”

Here contestants must hold around the clock night watches to avoid attacks by nearby lions. On one night they were circled by a pride of lions. On another they risked being trampled by a hippo, responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other animal. And on another occasion they are forced to cross a crocodile infested river where it’s hard to see how show producers would be able to prevent someone from falling into the muddy drink. On yet another occasion two of the group were charged by a warthog, nearly fracturing one of their legs.

It’s a steep price to pay for an adventure of a lifetime and one that has several of the show’s participants questioning the wisdom of it all. “I need to get back safely to my wife,” says one of the guys as they contemplate where to cross a hippo and crocodile teaming river. 

Would you risk your life for a television show? Mygrations airs on National Geographic Channel Monday 9/8c. For more information and show clips click here.

Photo credit: National Geographic Channel